Derren Brown’s latest series of stunts on Channel 4 has had the whole country talking. Not always positively, but talking nonetheless. For everyone amazed by the lottery prediction there’s someone still angry that he didn’t teach us all how to win it every week. And for every person stuck to their sofas there were several more left just a bit bewildered by the whole thing. Then there’s this guy, who claims to have been stuck for 12 hours – only emerging from the sofa the following morning, half-starved and desperate for the toilet. I’m sure Derren won’t mind the context of discussion so long as people are talking, and the ratings seem to prove the series a massive success.
Something that he touched on in the sofa-bound show was perception and awareness without consciousness – a basic example that he gave being when the song going round and round in your head turns out to have been whistled by the guy you passed on the street earlier that morning. Derren’s ability to plant ideas in people’s heads is obviously aided quite significantly by his hypnosis skills, but it’s still an interesting perspective on messaging and how simple speech patterns and sentence structure can convey thoughts and ideas without explicitly saying them.
If you missed it, take a look at this clip (can’t embed it for some reason) of a confused Simon Pegg and the subsequent explanation of how he did it. I’m off to build some subliminal programming into my next press release.